Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Alaska
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Alaska Project

Landscape genetics, connectivity, and dispersal: predicting impacts of a top predator (Esox lucius) on salmonids in Southcentral Alaska

August 2016 - September 2018


Participating Agencies

  • Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Sport Fish
  • USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
  • Alaska Department of Fish and Game

The introduction and expansion of invasive Northern Pike in southcentral Alaska have driven declines of salmonids in the Matanuska-Susitna Basin (MatSu) and led to the extirpation of a rare form of three spine stickleback in Praetor Lake near Wasilla. Because Northern Pike are piscivores that favor salmonids, their invasion has led to a change in the quality and quantity of salmon habitat in southcentral Alaska. Despite the strong conservation implications of the Northern Pike invasion, little work has been done to understand the ecology and potential evolution of the invader in its new range. This project is a collaboration among the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Given the broad extent of this landscape and limited resources available, determining the genetic diversity of pike in Alaska and the extent to which this top predator and juvenile salmon may overlap are crucial to predict future impacts of the invasion and inform management decisions through tools to aid identification and prioritization of critical areas.

Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Jalbert, Chase. 2018. Impacts of a Top Predator (Esox lucius) on Salmonids in Southcentral Alaska: Genetics, Connectivity, and Vulnerability. MS thesis, University of Alaska Fairbanks. 137 pp. December 2018